Please bring on Ramachandran, Farouk, Zac and Dada!

28th March 2018
FROM ME TO YOU
Editorial

...

By Joe-Brown -


Dear Jagdish Shah Hello Mr Shah, allow me to pen this little brief to you as I intend to extend a word of encomiums on your recent achievements. You see Mr Shah, I admire everything there is about you. Your business acumen and go-getter attitude bemuses and bewilders my every being, and I must say I find plenty admiration in the way you do the things you do, especially within our ailing sports industry. I remember when I was first introduced to you as a potential investor in sports, the things that were said about you were too good to be true. Remember that Sommerset guy under whose nose you would later make away with his prized Township Rollers? The one who when nobody cared about Rollers as a business gem waiting to be mined decided he was going to dig them out from those dusty pitches of the Debswana mine sponsored league? Well, there was no Debswana there at the time. There was no money - just dust and more dust. That Somaresete guy made mention of you long before you would eventually become a part of Rollers.

I remember asking him about the thousands he was spending on the team and how he was coping with the incessant nagging of boMookodi and company, who always reminded him he did not own the team whenever he sold a player to a South African premiership club. At the time, he cried of dipping finances and how those who were crying ownership of the team were not even adding a thebe. The team was already in the premier league after he had taken them out from the choking pitches where the likes of MRI had tried to do the sponsorship rescue act but ended up running away with no resultant gains to show. He was a man full of himself that one – confidence levels always high; so sure of what he was doing; always looking to overtake Gaborone United of the time to be a trendsetter in the footballing business. That man. He sold off players from the Rollers’ stable with so much ease and pomp and soon everyone was accusing him of rolling in the money from the PSL; and man, they hated him.

His enemies always had the best adjectives in the universe to describe him. Devious. Cunning. Slippery. Notorious. Equivocator. Corrupt. Dishonest. And even Hypocrite they called him. Nobody cared about the good he was doing for Rollers. No, Rollers was their team, they would say. He found others also contributing financially to the team and so who does he think he is, they would ask. Football people! Anyway, back to the day he made mention of your name – he talked of how he was not bothered by his detractors and haters, opting instead to look forward and build Township Rollers into an enviable empire. He talked of how through your money he would get Rollers to compete against the likes of Barcelona and Manchester United.

He quashed any reminder I proffered that he had skipped the likes of Kaizer Chiefs, Pirates and Sundowns next door, saying they were beneath his ideal yardstick. Man, the guy was dreaming big, and I often described him as dangerously ambitious. We were in Game City and he was with his girls who kept nagging him to go. Well, he was never going to join them until he had made me know every detail of his vision about Popa. He just couldn’t stop talking, until his kids decided to take the car keys from him to disappear out of sight for good. How he would later reunite with them I have no clue. All the dangerous dreamer was interested in was to tell me about how bringing you into the picture will show sports people in Botswana that they know nothing about sports business. He conceded to having depleted his funds bankrolling the club and that still, nothing would stop him living the dream where he would see you and him at the helm of a club that moved from the dusty poverty of that old first division to a club competing at the opulence of the FIFA World Club Championships. And I thought then: this man is crazy. And I wondered: who the hell is this Jack Dish anyway?

That’s how I imagined your names were written. What kind of money does this Jack Dish chap has? And where would he be coming from not to know that you do not invest your money in local football and hope to make gains? Unless the Dish guy is like that Zac guy at GU who also just poured his money into their sieved pot and getting nothing from it in return. At that time, GU were setting the pace on exemplary football management and prudence. They were the best, and Sommerset set his sights on toppling them – by hook or by crook. I guess it was his single most mission - to see GU relegated to inferiority.

It is a pity he is no longer in the picture to see his dream slowly but surely mature into reality. I hear the two of you fought over money and I wonder whose money it is you were fighting over because he had long told me he was broke. But whatever happened between the two of you is of no concern to me right now. All I care about now is seeing his dream slowly blossoming to fruition – that dangerous dream of seeing Rollers roll into finer things. Now Rollers are the in-thing. Rollers are the most recognizable sporting brand in Botswana, even better than the BNSC, BNOC, BFA and sports ministry combined. You have since become an epitome of the indomitable. Everyone now swears by Rollers. I saw how every soccer fan recently had even forgotten about their little Notwanes and dwarfed Centre Chiefses, all proclaiming patronage to the Rollers’ cause. And over the past few weeks, the club has gained more followers, even across the borders. I was also not embarrassed to see myself cheer at the top of my voice while wearing my beautiful GunaGuna All Kasi shirt.

I was a proud Roller on the day – my Gunner instincts were wholly submerged in that euphoria and frenzy of excitement. We were cheering and calling ourselves The Blue Nation. And why not. Rollers is a big team now. And I say without you, all this would not be happening. I say if it was not for your sacrificed resources, there wouldn’t have been such excitement. I say had those society peddlers prevailed and managed to boot you out of the club, there wouldn’t have been such an atmosphere. And I dare say if it was not for Somaresete, we would not be having the Rollers we see today. If it wasn’t for him, you would have probably invested all these monies in Domi and reaping better rewards. But Somi brought the The Blue Nation a messiah – a Good Samaritan who is yet to recoup all he has lost just through sheer passion and love for our sport. You are the man Mr Shah. Right now you are the envy of everyone, so much that even the guys at the helm of the premier league clubs have illegally surrendered the reigns of the BPL to you.

They hope your charm at Rollers will rub onto them and see all premier league clubs compete at that same level as our Rollers. Heish, the poor beggars and dreamers! They just couldn’t even care they were breaking the law to make you their leader. I wonder what made it difficult for them to just wait these few weeks to elect a new chairperson. Unless you promised them something – that maybe if they make you chairman you will take them to the lucrative stages of the champions league. Well, you are that big my man. You can make it happen. And now that they have handed you the power to lead them, do whatever you can. Copy the style of Somaresete and bring in more of you into our football.

My plea is for you to go to India, Russia, Lebanon and Quatar to look for businessmen in your league - and dig within Botswana for the likes of Ramachandran, Farouk, Brink, Zac and Dada. Allocate a premier league team to each one of them. Stand your ground and do away with these useless societies run on debts and family funds. Ask the likes of Rama, Farouk, Brink, Zac and Dada to state their terms. Whoever wants 100 percent ownership, so be it. I won’t have a problem with the more generous one who will give supporters 20 percent. Just bring them on Jaggy, afterall you are the Premier League chief now – you are the guide, the way and the truth.

Even the best clubs in the world are owned by Arabs and Russians. Why not ours? And then we would have all BPL clubs compete at the level of Rollers. You need competition to grow even bigger my man. The league will naturally grow bigger with rich clubs with rich owners. All these chairmen will be employed as General Managers to shut them up. And don’t even listen to the supporters. They have failed the clubs already. All they do is make noise and sit at home waiting to watch Manchester United and Barcelona on tv. They even have the audacity to buy replicas from these European clubs while they give nothing to the local clubs they claim belong to them. Useless buggers!




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